The Regional Transport Officer (RTO) of Mirzapur district, Chunni Lal, alleged on Friday that “the police are bowing to political pressure” and not registering the FIR against a state minister who “issued death threats” and whose supporters “manhandled” him at the minister’s residence on Friday.
Lal has accused Minister of State for Child Nutrition and Basic Education, Kailash Chaurasia, of “threatening me with dire consequences” and his supporters of “manhandling” him when he refused to comply with Chaurasia’s “verbal order asking me not to assign duty to a clerk”. Lal said he has submitted a written complaint to the local police station in this regard but the police denied receiving it.
Significantly, the minister was convicted by the Chief Judicial Magistrate court of Mirzapur in March earlier this year for manhandling and threatening a postman in 1995. He, however, was acquitted by the district court in May.
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On Saturday, Lal met senior officials in Transport Department in Lucknow and apprised them of the situation, so that the “system could be compelled to function”.
Transport Commissioner K Ravindra Nayak said: “We have asked the Commissioner (Vindhyachal Division) to look into the matter. Our role ends there. The responsibility to ascertain the veracity of the complaint lies with the local administration and the police.”
The minister, whom this correspondent spoke to Saturday evening, refuted Lal’s allegations and instead accused the officer of “indulging in corrupt practices”. “Whatever allegations are being conveyed to you are false. You will soon see the official being punished for corrupt practices. Already, I have given a clarification in the media,” he said.
Lal, speaking to The Indian Express over phone, said: “I was called to the minister’s residence in Katra on Friday. There is a clerk in my department, Dinesh Malviya, whom the Minister had got transferred to Chitrakoot. But Malviya had got the order stayed by the Allahabad High Court. In fact, Malviya had been issued transfer orders after the minister’s intervention in the past as well but each time he got those orders stayed. This time, too, when the court stayed the order, I could not release him and told the minister about it but he wanted me not to assign him duty.”
Lal went on to allege that “the minister had been putting pressure on me to bring him money” ever since he joined as RTO, Mirzapur, in October 2014. “It appears that my predecessor had obliged him in some way and he was now expecting that I would toe the same line. He became angrier when I told him that I cannot do it and that I was ready to be transferred. This was when his supporters beat me up and the minister threatened me with dire consequences to life. I have left the place and I am now in Lucknow,” he said.
SHO, Katra police station, Shafique Ahmed said: “We have not received any complaint. I have got one letter seeking action against a person in the transport department, who has been dismissed for using fake mark sheets to get the job. He could have approached the senior officials but he is nowhere to be found.”
Lal, however, said the dismissal was “a separate incident” against which he is “yet to write a letter to the police”.
SP, Mirzapur, Dinesh Chandra said: “There has been no complaint from the officer. He has been making several claims. If anything concrete comes before me, I will let you know.”